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The cost effectiveness of Action for Children’s Intensive Family Support Services

Key Findings

  • The research found that Intensive Family Support (IFS) services have a positive impact on the outcomes of families facing multiple problems and the costs incurred to the public purse associated with supporting those families.
  • This study has highlighted the extremely complex nature of estimating the costs associated with supporting families accessing Action for Children‟s IFS Services. The difficulties encountered in estimating costs arise from the multiple difficulties faced by the families.
  • While the difficulties in the data make the calculation of realisable savings problematic, this study has shown that an exploration of the impact of IFS services on local authority expenditure can be achieved by using a combination of real data and research-based estimates.
  • The analysis suggests that the IFS service has the potential to result in a realisable savings resulting from a reduction in offending and unauthorised absences from school.
  • A lower cost was incurred for a third of the families six months after the IFS service ceased compared to the costs they incurred six months prior to receiving the intervention.
  • Projected expenditure may also be reduced through costs avoided by preventing children and young people entering care.
  • The costs avoided through the prevention of children and young people entering care range between £5,475 and £130,471 per family depending on the type and length of the placement.